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YouTube’s hold on long videos to be broken; Zuckerberg’s making it happen on Instagram

Facebook owned social network, Instagram launched a mobile app on Wednesday called IGTV dedicated to user-generated videos up to an hour long, intensifying the competition for consumers’ time among ad-supported streaming services such as YouTube

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Facebook owned social network, Instagram launched a mobile app on Wednesday called IGTV dedicated to user-generated videos up to an hour long, intensifying the competition for consumers’ time among ad-supported streaming services such as YouTube.

The service plans to feature videos from rising internet celebrities, artists and pets, some of whom have tens of millions of social media followers.

“Teens are now watching 40 percent less TV than they did five years ago,” Instagram Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said at an event to announce the launch in San Francisco.

“It’s time for video to move forward and evolve.”

Facebook shares rose 2.3 percent on Wednesday to $202.06 after earlier crossing the $200 mark for the first time. Instagram, which was founded in 2010 as a photo-sharing app, has surpassed 1 billion users, Systrom said.
Tech firms such as Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s YouTube and Snap Inc’s Snapchat have been spending heavily to grow mobile video services that will attract both users and corporate brand advertising.

Courting stars to post videos is part of their strategies. Instagram said it has signed up personalities such as Lele Pons, who has 25 million Instagram followers, for IGTV.

Pons said she did not plan to choose sides between two of Silicon Valley’s largest companies. “I’m still going to be posting on YouTube as well as on Instagram,” she told reporters.

Facebook on Tuesday launched a separate effort to lure video makers away from YouTube, offering ways to make money on the Facebook app. YouTube said it plans to update its commercialization options this week.

Instagram does not immediately plan to share revenue with video creators but may in the future, Systrom said. IGTV will be available as part of Instagram’s app and as a separate app, he said.

Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012 for $1 billion, has grown by adding features like messaging and short videos. In 2016, it added the ability to post slideshows that disappear in 24 hours, a copy of Snapchat’s popular “stories” feature.

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Ex-Jumia executives set to launch new e-commerce platform, Kapu

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A couple of former executives of e-commerce giant, Jumia, have teamed up to float a new company to be known as Kapu which will be launched next week in Kenya.

In a statement on Friday, leader of the team, Sam Chappatte, who was Jumia’s CEO before leaving the firm in November last year, the new e-commerce platform which will be launched in the east African country before expanding to other countries on the continent.

Other top former Jumia executives who have teamed up with Chappatte who is the founder and CEO of Kapu include Cyrus Onyiego who served as Jumia Travel MD and Jumia Food COO, who is now Kapu’s COO, as well as Stanislas Barth, ex-Jumia Head of Offline Sales who will serve as Head of Supply and Marketing at Kapu.

The new platform, according to Chappatte, is coming at a time Kenya continues to record steady growth in e-commerce.

“According to statistics, e-commerce user penetration is above the regional average, with revenues expected to have a positive annual average growth of 16.4% by 2025.

“With revenue of US$1.1 billion and a share of 76.1%, e-commerce generated the highest digital revenues in 2020. Kenya is also ranked among the top drivers of e-commerce volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

“Just last year, a report by digital payments firm, Visa, revealed that the country’s e-commerce transactions are mainly driven by cross-border merchants.

“This means two things, firstly there is potential for the local e-commerce market to develop, and a need to examine if sufficient acquiring infrastructure exists domestically to enable these players.

‘The growth is driven by both digital payments and cash-on-delivery showing the potential to convert more customers to digital payments through CNP, such as card-on-file and CP SoftPOS or mPOS activities,” he added.

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Kenyan smartphone reseller startup, Badili Africa, secures $2.1m funding to scale up operations

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Kenyan smartphone reseller startup, Badili Africa, has secured $2 1 million in pre-seed funding to enable it scale up its operations beyond its country of origin.

Founded in March 2022 by the duo of Rishabh Lawania and Keshu Dubey, Badili enables customers to trade in their old phones for new ones at friendly prices, according to Lawania who is the CEO of the company.

The seed finding was led by Venture Catalysts, V&R Africa, Grenfell holdings and SOSV with participation from family offices and angel investors from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and India, Lawania said in a statement on Friday.

“We are launching in Uganda and Tanzania and have established strong partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

“Within the next six months, we will be expanding to a few West African markets to get our foot in the door of some of the major markets in Africa,” he said.

“We are a young startup but since our launch in March this year, we have expanded to over 37 towns in Kenya with about $2M in annual revenue.

“The seed funds are meant for the expansion of our operations across the continent which is one of the fastest growing in the world,” he added.

According to its website, Badili Africa has a platform where sellers express interest to sell their phones and then get an evaluation and a quote before determining the final price.

The company then refurbishes and repackages the phones before selling them with a one-year warranty.

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